Over the past few days, exceptional products have been exhibited at the Salone del Mobile, ranging from furniture pieces and light fixtures, to textiles and finishes. As part of Milan Design Week, the Salone saw impressive collaborations with architects and the use of never-seen-before materials, all displayed at the Milan Fairgrounds, while some projects — too grand and imposing for a constraint exhibition — took place at the second part of the event, the Fuorisalone.
Installations: The Latest Architecture and News
Across the world, developed cities are rebelling against heavy industry. While some reasons vary depending on local circumstances, a common global drive towards clean energy, and the shifting of developed economies towards financial services, automation, and the gig economy, is leaving a common trace within urban centers. From Beijing to Detroit, vast wastelands of steel and concrete will stand as empty relics to the age of steel and coal.
The question of what to do with these wastelands, with defunct furnaces, railways, chimneys, and lakes, may be one of the major urban questions facing generations of architects to come. What can be done when the impracticality of industrial complexes, and the precious land they needlessly occupy, collides with the embodied energy, memories, and histories which few would wish to lose?
It was an early morning in Chelsea, and men in suits were standing around the street, ushering in guests into a dark, 12,000 square-foot exhibition space at the XI gallery. Inside, the room was lit by a centerpiece installation of the New York City skyline, sprawling upwards towards the ceiling with its reflection. Bjarke Ingels was going to unveil new plans for The XI (‘The Eleventh’), a pair of twisting towers set between 17th and 18th Streets and 10th and 11th Avenue. Es Devlin, a British artist who has stage-designed for Beyoncé and Katy Perry, was tapped by HFZ Capital Group to create three installations to present the project.
In the gallery, Bjarke Ingels's work is seen through a sculptural map of Manhattan constructed within a 30-foot wide concave hemisphere (Egg); a pair of illuminated towers gently rotating upon shimmering water (Dance); and a 360-degree film strip of Ingels and his sketches scrolling across a horseshoe-shaped room (Paper, Stone, Glass, Water).
“Evolution in constant motion,” Es Devlin told reporters as she gestured towards the curves of the dancing towers.
Bjarke laughed. “I’ll bring it down to pragmatism.”
Update: The deadlines for this opportunity have been extended
- Call For tutors : Extended till January 28
- Call for participants : Ends on February 28
MEDS workshop “Meetings of Design Students” is an international workshop that takes part each summer in a different country, focusing on various issues, themes, topics and settings that will help any designer expand their expertise. It is a chance to get in touch with diverse approaches to design, different building techniques, traditions and skills. MEDS workshop is both practical and educational because it focuses not only on creative theoretical designs, but actually compels participants to execute these designs during the 2-week span of the workshop. You can apply to MEDS as a tutor or as a participant.
Budapest-based architectural firm Hello Wood has continued its annual tradition of constructing wooden Christmas trees, this year expanding the program with a total of 5 trees throughout Europe. In London and Vienna, trees made of sleds recall a design concept first used by Hello Wood in 2013; meanwhile, two locations in Budapest and in the Hungarian city of Kecskemét are witnessing the return of the firm's "charity trees," installations made of firewood which are later dismantled and distributed to families in need for the winter season.
LocationYantai, Shandong, China
Architect in ChargeZhe He, James Shen, Feng Zang
Design TeamZhenghua Li, Ziqing Feng, Mingka Lin, Xi Xu, Gangjian Cui, Weixing Xiang, Sixuan Liu, Xiao Hai, Ziwei Chen
Structure ConsultantFengbo Yu
The Naomi Milgrom Foundation has selected Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA for the design of Melbourne’s 2017 MPavilion. The announcement comes after this weekend’s closing of the 2016 MPavilion, designed by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai, which welcomed more than 94,000 visitors to over 287 free events in its 139 day run. Now in its 4th year, the MPavilion program invites architects who have yet to completed a project in Australia to design and construct their first structure in the country.
Russian artist Nikolay Polissky has unveiled his latest project, a large tower for the upcoming traditional holiday of Maslenitsa, a coming of spring celebration that ceremonially burns a symbol of winter.
Currently in the construction phase, the project is made from recycled wood pallets and the tops of logs, which typically are only used as cheap firewood. Additionally, the tower will be covered with hay rolls that cannot be used as animal feed, before being burned at a ceremony on February 25.
The Canvas consists of individual modules, each of which is a cube made from steel framework, back paneling, L-shaped jambs, secondary structure, waterproofing board, irrigation piping, Green Studios hydroponic skin, and plants. These layered components are assembled on four sides of the cube module, with a motor and water pipe attachment that circulates water throughout.
Hello Wood has continued its tradition of building socially responsive Christmas trees in European cities though its latest addition, the Tree of Arts, built in front of Budapest’s largest concert hall, Müpa, also known as the Palace of Arts.
Based on the idea that the spirit of Christmas should live beyond the holiday season and continue to symbolize community-building and sustainability into the New Year, the 11-meter tall tree made from lightboxes will be recycled into display units for the inside of the cultural venue in 2017.
Lightboxes in the installation feature the names of performances that will be visiting Budapest in the coming year, including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, John McLaughlin, and Cameron Carpenter.
MoMA P.S.1 has named five finalists competing in the 2017 Young Architects Program (YAP).
Now in it’s 17th year, the competition was founded to offer emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design a temporary, outdoor installation within the walls of the P.S.1 courtyard for MoMA’s annual summer “Warm-Up” series. Architects are challenged to develop creative designs that provide shade, seating and water, while working within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling.
LOT has been selected as the winner of the third annual Flatiron Public Plaza design competition in New York, which called for proposals from 5 New York City firms to design a temporary installation to be located at the base of the iconic Flatiron Building.
The winning proposal, titled “Flatiron Sky-Line,” consists of a series of 10 large contiguous arches, constructed out of white powder-coated steel tubes housing LED lights, from which an array of hammocks will be suspended to allow visitors to rest and take in the surrounding landmarks such as the Met Life Tower and Empire State Building.
In memorial of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, which resulted in the emigration of over 37,000 Hungarians to Canada, architectural studio Hello Wood has created Tunnel Through Time, a contemporary interpretation of the historic event that remembers the heroes of the revolution and especially honoring the Canadian people who welcomed Hungarian refugees.
Composed of 37,565 pieces—one for each Hungarian refugee accepted into Canada—the tunnel begins with a Hungarian flag with a hole in the middle, representing how protesters cut the communist coat of arms out of the Hungarian flag during the revolution. The tunnel then morphs—as a representation of the journey of the refugees—until it reaches an exit, which is shaped like the national symbol of Canada, the maple leaf.
The installation was inspired by the Greek myth of Penelope, who was Odysseus’ wife in Homer’s Odyssey. In the story, Penelope weaves and destroys a burial shroud for her husband, in a tribute to the power of love and to weaving.
Now in its eighth edition, Design Week Mexico, in collaboration with Museo Tamayo, has unveiled the design for a major public architectural pavilion designed by leading German architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller. Until Spring 2017, the installation will be a cultural attraction at Chapultepec Park, Mexico City’s largest public park.
The 2016 MPavilion, designed by Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai, has opened in Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens. Over the next four months, the bamboo structure will play host to a free public program of over 400 talks, workshops, performances and installations.
Bijoy Jain’s design joins the growing international trend of “handmade architecture” as it becomes the largest bamboo structure in Australia, utilizing 7 kilometers of Indian bamboo, 50,000 kilograms of Australian bluestone, 5,000 wooden pins and 26 kilometers of rope to cover a 16.8 square meter area. The slatted roof panels are constructed from sticks of the Karvi plant and were woven together by craftspeople in India over a four month period.
Genoa-based studio Space Caviar has recently unveiled Arcipelago di Ocno, an aquatic installation on a lake in Mantova, Italy, which is the 2016 Italian Capital of Culture. Named after the local demigod Ocno, the installation recalls the form of a lotus, a plant with an extensive presence in Mantova’s lakes.
Acting as an aquatic piazza for the city, the archipelago of floating islands “[extends] Mantova’s urban fabric onto the lakes that surround its historic center,” utilizing modular units to create a venue for Mantova’s cultural activities for years to come.
The Naomi Milgrom Foundation has released plans for Studio Mumbai founder Bijoy Jain’s design for the 2016 MPavilion, the Australian counterpart to London's wildly successful Serpentine Gallery Pavilion program. Continuing the concepts driving Studio Mumbai’s work, the pavilion will utilize a process Jain describes as ‘Lore,’ an exploration of handmade architecture and simplicity of building craft that centers on the relationship between making and human connectedness.